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USD Discovery District Announces Anchor Tenants for Innovation Community

June 4, 2018

Historic Partnership Among State, USD and the Private Sector catalyzes biopharma industrySIOUX FALLS, SD – The USD Discovery District and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced today that SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend will become the innovation community’s anchor tenants.
The Discovery District, an 80-acre planned corporate and academic research park adjacent to the University Center in northwest Sioux Falls, will provide access to research facilities and infrastructure for research business development and foster collaboration for the commercialization of new technologies.

The $30.9 million project will encompass not only a large multi-tenant research building, but also South Dakota’s first commercial cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) biotherapeutics manufacturing facility, and is being made possible by an historic strategic and financing partnership among the State of South Dakota, the University of South Dakota (USD), the City of Sioux Falls, the Board of Regents and the business community through Forward Sioux Falls.

“The direct economic impact of the Discovery District, at full build out, is projected to include 26 privately developed buildings with facility construction value exceeding $314 million, employing almost 2,800 people through companies located in the District,” said Rich Naser, president of the USD Discovery District. “Thanks to the extraordinary and collaborative efforts of Gov. Dennis Daugaard, his team and many other partners, today, we are taking a significant step forward in delivering on that promise for South Dakota and the Sioux Falls region.”

GOED has long supported the rapidly emerging biotech industry in South Dakota, and facilitated a significant financing package including state loans and grants, in addition to USD Foundation participation, to ensure a home not only for SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend, but additional space for future biotech companies emerging in the state or choosing to relocate here, too.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to our significant commitment to the biotech industry, clearing the way for the continued growth of innovation-based businesses,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard.  “Transformational projects like the Discovery District require time and perseverance. I’m proud of the months of careful planning, deliberate actions and patience that have gone into this.”

The first building will be an 84,000 square-foot multi-tenant research laboratory, office and biopharmaceutical manufacturing space. In addition to primary long-term tenants SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend, the building will house the USD Discovery District offices and offer 20,000 square-feet of open leasable space. Sioux Falls-based Architecture Incorporated and architecture leader Perkins + Will have been selected as the architects for the building. Tetrad Property Group, an experienced research park developer, will manage the project for the Discovery District.

The second building is a 42,000 square-foot commercial biomanufacturing production facility. SAB plans to use the building for its commercial biotherapeutics production operations. Funding for the facility was granted to the district by the GOED, and will also create an evergreen fund to seed future Discovery District projects.

“Both SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend are bio-leaders in South Dakota,” said USD president James W. Abbott. “More importantly, they are on the cutting edge in their sectors, developing and commercializing breakthrough, life-saving solutions. They are innovators – exactly the kind of company we want to attract to the USD Discovery District.”

SAB Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing human antibody therapeutics using its first-of-its-kind immunotherapy platform leveraging transgenic cattle (TcBovine™). The company will occupy approximately 41,000 square-feet of the first building with its corporate headquarters, research laboratories and cGMP biomanufacturing suite and plans to occupy the second building with its commercial manufacturing operations.

“The company chose to build our business in South Dakota because of the ability to get things done and move the business forward,” said Eddie J. Sullivan, SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. president, CEO, and co-founder. “We’ve now doubled in size since 2014, completed multiple successful clinical trials and our building our first production pharm near Canton. Clearly, it was a good decision.

The USD Discovery District is really the ideal place for us to continue to grow and spur additional bioscience development as well,” he added.

Alumend LLC, Avera’s wholly owned applied research and development company, will establish its corporate office and research laboratory in the district, occupying approximately 7,500 square feet. Alumend scientists have developed Natural Vascular Scaffolding (NVS) therapy, a novel drug/device combination for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). They will continue their research and development of other uses of the NVS chemistry with potential applications in cancer, orthopedics, cosmetics at the Discovery District.

“Through our work with Alumend, Avera has been a proud participant in South Dakota’s biotech industry for the past two decades, and we’re thrilled to be an anchor company in the Discovery District,” said Ryan Hansen, Executive Director, Avera Research Institute

By developing applications where there are currently unmet clinical needs, Alumend further enhances the Avera mission to make a positive impact in the lives of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.”

The USD Discovery District continues to work with the City of Sioux Falls on long-term infrastructure development for the Discovery District, but more immediately on the streets, utilities, streetscape and parking needed to utilize the 3.7-acre site for SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend.

“The USD Discovery District is a great example of collaboration between several groups with an interest in the economic success of the Sioux Falls region,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken of Sioux Falls.

“The biotech companies based here will impact our community with new jobs for our residents and new recruits to the area, but it’s also going to impact the world with the breakthroughs and the ideas and the products that will come from right here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.”

There are board and other approvals needed to finalize the financing and continue design work on the project.

“There’s still work to be done,” added Naser. “Our goal is to break ground this fall and have the first building completed in 2020.

This project is three times larger than we anticipated 12 months ago. It’s a significant milestone to start building in the Discovery District and exciting to have such a large and impactful inaugural project to launch South Dakota’s first innovation community.”


Photo: Artist rendering of planned 84,000 square foot multi-tenant building on West Nobel Street and North Frances Avenue to house SAB Biotherapeutics, Alumend, USD Discovery District offices and open leasable space for .

Source: Perkins + Will

Media contacts:

USD Discovery District
Melissa Ullerich

Natalie Likness

SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Melissa Ullerich

Lindsey Meyers

University of South Dakota
Michael Ewald

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